Stop Foley and Rann's public service cuts — Socialist Alliance statement

Adelaide, October 28. Photo by John McGill.

Socialist Alliance released a statement on South Australia’s budget cuts on November 3.

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The Socialist Alliance opposes the public service cuts in South Australia.

The effects of the global financial crisis have hit South Australia with this budget. But who will pay for it? The bankers and corporate heads that caused it? No, Premier Mike Rann and deputy premier Kevin Foley want the working people of South Australia to pay for the crisis they did not create.

Up to 4000 public servants will lose their jobs and services to the community will suffer as a result. The public sector cuts are an attack that must be fought every step of the way.

Throughout the world, governments are using the global financial crisis as an excuse to expand their neoliberal agenda and roll back the gains workers have made.

In Greece, the government tried to shift the blame to the public sector with its austerity package, which prompted millions of Greek workers to strike.

In Britainafter a bailout of the major banks worth £1.3 trillion, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition plans to cut more than 500,000 public sector jobs.

In France, there have been major industrial strikes by millions of workers and students against the government’s attempts to raise the pension age to 62.

Why do these international struggles matter? The actions of governments around the world have shown that, in the name of economic management, workers will be attacked while the large corporations who caused the financial crisis are able to continue to line their pockets.

It is not a matter of Liberal or Labor, both pander to big business while ignoring workers rights. The Socialist Alliance stands for a different society where public services, the environment and workers' rights come before the profits of a few. The Socialist Alliance supports the workers and unions of South Australia in their fight against these cuts.

The Socialist Alliance will campaign alongside other workers to:

• oppose the cuts to public sector employment;
• defend all long service leave entitlements and leave loading; and
• demand the adequate provision of public services for all South Australians.

Socialist Alliance campaigns for a reallocation of public resources away from destructive and unnecessary spending such as weapons manufacturing and excessive wages for politicians.

Instead we call for a significant increase in funding for public services and an end to job cuts and shortages throughout the state, particularly in rural areas where service shortages have been most severe.

The protests must continue and escalate to industrial action until our demands are won.